Financial incentives for prescribers: effects are uncertain

Added May 8, 2020

Citation: Rashidian A, Omidvari AH, Vali Y, et al. Pharmaceutical policies: effects of financial incentives for prescribers. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015; (8): CD006731

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on healthcare services. Pharmaceutical costs represent a large proportion of health care expenditure, and existing research on policies to limit pharmaceutical costs without affecting patient care may provide information to help policy makers with this.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for comparative effectiveness studies of the effects of policies that intend to affect prescribing by means of financial incentives for prescribers. They did their search in January 2015. They included 18 studies, all from high-income countries. The studies evaluated pharmaceutical budget policies (14 studies), pay for performance policies (3) and a reimbursement rate reduction policy (1).

What was found: Although financial incentives may lead to some change in prescribing patterns, there is limited evidence of their effects.

The effects of pharmaceutical budget policies on quality of care and health outcomes are uncertain.

The effects of pay for performances policies on quality of care and health outcomes are uncertain.

The effects of reimbursement rate reduction policies on quality of care and health outcomes are uncertain.


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